Joe Ward set for return to ring on Jake Paul undercard in New York
Joe Ward is preparing for his next professional fight which will be on the undercard of social media star Jake Paul's upcoming contest in Madison Square Garden, New York, on Saturday, August 6.
The 28-year-old Moate man, who is regarded as one of the best Irish amateur boxers of all time, has eight professional bouts under his belt to date.
On August 6, Ward is scheduled to face Frederic Julan, a 34-year-old New York-based Frenchman with a record of 12 wins and one defeat (10 KOs).
It will be Ward's second fight this year, after he recorded a stoppage win against Mexican Oscar Riojas in the Chicago area at the beginning of April.
The main event on the night will be Jake Paul's fight with Hasim Rahman Jr.
Paul, an internet celebrity-turned boxer, is also the promoter of Amanda Serrano, who lost to Katie Taylor in an unforgettable fight at the end of April.
Serrano herself will be back in action on the August 6 show, taking on Brenda Carabajal.
Ward travelled to New York in recent days. Speaking to the Westmeath Independent this afternoon, he said he was looking forward to the challenge facing him in two and a half weeks' time.
"This is a good fight and a good stepping stone for me. Jake Paul has a massive platform on the media side of things, so it's obviously a benefit to me to be on one of these shows, and to keep pushing forward.
"Training has gone well. Sparring has gone well. It's another step forward for me towards my ultimate goal of becoming a world champion."
Ward said his opponent, Julan, was not someone to be taken lightly.
"This is a step up compared to the previous opponents I've had. He is based in America, and he's a good fighter. The only fight he lost was on a split decision, so it's going to be an interesting fight.
"Since that defeat (Julan) has got a new coach, so he's obviously looking to build some sort of momentum and he was confident in taking this fight. I'm looking forward to a good test and looking forward to delivering a good performance."
Madison Square Garden, one of the world's most famous arenas, has almost become a second home for Ward. This fight will be his fourth at the Midtown Manhattan venue since 2019.
"It's always an honour to get an opportunity to fight in Madison Square Garden. As we all know, it's the 'Mecca of boxing' and there are not too many fighters who would get a chance to fight there four times in just a couple of years.
"I'm really looking forward to it and I'm looking forward to seeing the Irish fans coming out to support me on this journey," he said.